Strengthening exercises decrease football injuries to less than 1/3 and over-use injuries can be almost halved! This is how you can do sports specific training to have less injuries and perform better.
Football (soccer) is the most popular sport world-wide with around 265 million players and more than 3 million young people play in the United States alone. Unfortunately injuries, particularly knee and ankle injuries are rife in football and serious injuries like cruciate ligament cause serious problems for players and teams, with long periods away from play and early osteoarthritis.(2)
Fortunately, but unfortunately not well-known… short, easy but effective exercise regimes can seriously reduce football injuries and I’m not talking by 5 or 10 percent – you can decrease your injury risk to less than one-third – that is huge.(1)
Here is some great examples:
Walden et al 2003 followed 230 football clubs for a season and found that the players that did a 15 minute neuromuscular control warm-up, just twice a week throughout the season, decreased ACL injury by 64%. Their program was based around functional, dynamic exercises that targeted core stability, balance and proper knee alignment(2).
Peterson et al 2011 showed that adding eccentric hamstring strengthening into footballers regime (they had 942 players in their study!) decreased hamstring injury by over 70%.(3)
Here’s a third and final example if you aren’t convinced yet:
A 2014 study on the effectiveness of the FIFA 11+ program. This is a great warm up program specifically designed to prevent football injuries in players 14 years old and above. This study took a huge 414 players (aged 14-19) into the study and showed that the FIFA 11+ warm up program reduced the overall injury rate by 41%.(4)
This really is some great evidence that shows absolutely every football team should be utilizing the great injury preventions that are now readily available to them. They result in, a massive reduction in injuries.
Make a change to your football routine and start a pre-game or training warm up routine. The FIFA 11+ is a great warm up program for anyone to get into – Check out this link to learn more about it and this one, for some great you-tube videos demonstrating all the program.
Have a great, injury free season!